Week 16: Kenwood Elementary School & Spectrum Artworks

Kenwood Elementary School - Stephanie Green's Third Grade Class, 6 hours

The third graders recently got crayfish in the classroom, which is exciting for me, because I also learned about crayfish when I was their age. It was a bit of a learning experience for me, as I never knew that crayfish were so territorial. 

I also decided to do an animation project based on some previous experiences I have had in other classes, so hopefully the kids will enjoy it. I'll be presenting the project this Friday.

Teaching at Kenwood: Lesson Day Update!

On Friday, I did a language arts infused project in which I am currently animating for the kids to see tomorrow when I come in! The kids were really excited about the project, and I was happy with the result.

Spectrum Artworks - Shadowing with Jes Reyes, 3 hours

Wednesdays are open studio days at the Lighthouse, but the studio was relatively empty most of the afternoon. Jes and I worked on cutting up images for a collage project, which we did later in the afternoon with some of the residents. Spectrum's art program is very laid back and self-directed, which I greatly appreciate. It gives me a moment to relax and take a breather. For the past year or so, because I've been focusing on media-based works, I haven't had much time to work on hands-on fine arts projects, so collaging for the afternoon was a calming moment for me. It's also motivated me to pick up some old projects. 

Week 15: Kenwood Elementary School & Spectrum Artworks

Kenwood Elementary School, Stephanie Green's Third Grade Classroom - 6 hours

Today, the students worked on both their Language Arts and Math, finishing up from what they were doing yesterday. 

Spectrum Artworks - Shadowing with Jes Reyes, 2 hours

Today, both Tara and I were in the studio at Spectrum Artworks. For the shadowing, we can work independently and help some of the artists in the studio as they need us. I met some of the artists and gave them some feedback on their work, which they greatly appreciated; which is definitely a rewarding feeling for me. I really enjoy being in the studio space, as it is a very laid back, calming area to be in. I look forward to going back!

Week 14 Kenwood School

Week 12: Kenwood Elementary School, Stephanie Green's Third Grade Classroom - 4 hours

This week, I spent the duration of my time in Stephanie Green's classroom observing the students and their daily activities. The kids had their morning meeting, then proceeded to do more independent work for Language Arts. Right now, the students are studying nonfiction formatting and reading comprehension. Next, the students move on to Math, in which they are mostly learning how to do more advanced subtraction. The kids are very high energy and fun to work with. There are a couple of students from other classrooms who come in during the afternoon, and one of them offered to let me read some of his library books while the kids were out playing at recess. As far as my lesson planning goes, I'm thinking I might do another Math-based project, because I think the kids need a fun way of approaching the project. Otherwise, I could probably do something language arts based too, but I will certainly confer with Stephanie about what she would prefer to have me teach. The kids still have their Math Squares hanging up from the last time I was there with Tara, another student here at MCAD who is in the teaching artist program.

Week 9 - 10

Due to Spring Breaks, I have not been able to go to any of the school locations the past couple weeks. I am planning on going to Kenwood come Wednesday morning!

Week 8: Blaine Senior High School & Spectrum Artworks Orientation

Spectrum Artworks Orientation with Jes Reyes - 2.5 Hours

Tuesday afternoon, I met with Jes Reyes from Resource, a mental health and addiction program. The campus is pretty large, and I learned that Resource has many locations in both Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the northern suburbs. She gave me a tour of the Lighthouse, where the art studio is located in the basement. The work produced is mostly fine arts based, but they have done photography and time-based media previously as well. I look forward to starting my shadowing position in mid-April! 

Blaine Senior High School with Pat Undis  - 3.5 hours

Because it was the end of the term for Mrs. Undis's students, I helped with general housekeeping and cleaning up the room and handling supplies. In the AP art class, some of the students were showing presentations of their work. In her later class periods, students finished up some of their projects, while for the rest of the class, we projected short Pixar films for the students who didn't have any more work to finish.

Week 7: Blaine Senior High School

Blaine High School -  Pat Undis & Kimberly Schenk - 3.5 hours

This week, both the students and teachers had busy hands due to the trimester coming to a close at the end of next week. There is a variety of projects going on simultaneously in many of the classes. Some students are contributing to a larger public works project, while others are painting animals, and some students are working on graphic portraiture on larger canvases. Most, if not all of her students are working in acrylic right now, learning how to mix opaque colors and experimenting with textures. For next week, I'm hoping to be able to show both Mrs. Schenk and Mrs. Undis's Drawing and Painting classes some of my works similar to what they are working on right now as well, but only if time permits. 


Week 6: Blaine Senior High School

Blaine High School - Pat Undis & Kimberly Schenk - 3.5 Hours

This week at the high school, many of the art students are preparing for the Blaine City Hall Art Show, a competition I once entered too. Meanwhile, Mrs. Undis's first hour students are preparing for their finals coming up in just 2 weeks, which requires them to document all the work they've been creating throughout the duration of the trimester. In addition to that, the Senior Art Show is still in the making, so the art students definitely have their hands full. As always, the work produced is wonderful, and I had the honor of framing some of the works and preparing them for the city hall art competition this morning. The variety of work is impressive--3D works, paintings, drawings, photography. 

Week 5: Blaine Senior High School

Blaine High School - Art Teachers Pat Undis & Kimberly Schenk - 4 hours

This week in room 238, we continued to work on figure drawing. Unlike last week, I was more focused on helping the students achieve more realistic body proportions, while emphasizing their own creative vision and artistic hand. I noticed many of the students were trying techniques that they had not tried last week--new methods of mark making, new materials, and different surfaces. I could tell the students were considering some of the ideas I had presented to them and using them to inform their drawings. Many of the students worked on a single drawing for the duration of the class period, while a few began new ones. The artists in this class are very attentive. I'm always very impressed with the work that's produced in this class. 

In the next room over, during 2nd and 3rd hour for BHS, I worked with Mrs. Schenk. Her students embarked on a gesture drawing project yesterday, which was perfect timing. Mrs. Schenk encouraged me to give my take on gesture and figure drawing. I did a demonstration and realized our techniques are somewhat different, but nonetheless, both very relevant to the task of gesture drawing. I could see the students using both of our techniques to create really solid, quick drawings. Both Mrs. Schenk and I rotated between posing, which was fun, as I've never been the model in any art class. It's a lot more difficult than it looks, that's for sure.

As for the coming weeks, I'm curious to see if the students will continue with some of the techniques they've learned this week. I look forward to my next visit. 

Week 4: Blaine Senior High School

Week 4: Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk - 4 hours

This week in the AP art class, we embarked on a figure drawing project. As it was expected, things changed a bit from the lesson plan I had written. I had intended on beginning a longer, extended pose with the students, but ended up adapting it to ease them into the process. I began by showing the students different drawings that I had done in both Drawing 2 and Figure Drawing. I think that the drawings represent different levels of resolution; from extended poses lasting several hours to short 30 second gestural drawings. I followed up with a demo showing the students gesture drawing and mark making. We started out with 2 minute poses, then moved up to 5 minute poses, and then finally a couple of 10 minute poses. I was a bit nervous going into the days where I'm more actively teaching in the classroom, but I was thoroughly impressed with the students and the work they produced. (*I will attach photos in next week's blog post of their work.)

Next week, I plan on doing a short presentation/demo combination to give the students a little more context. I'm basing the project on my own personal experience with different figure drawing courses. I want to talk a little bit more about landmarks on the body, proportion, and mark making to describe form and volume and how to avoid contour lines. 


Week 3: Blaine Senior High School

Blaine High school -  Art Teachers Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk - 4.0 Hours

This week at Blaine High School, I worked primarily with Mrs. Undis' students again. We talked about the project which I intend on starting next week when I go back. We made the final decision that they wanted to get more experience working with figure drawing, which they have not had too much exposure to, at least not in school. We established that one of the teacher's assistants in the department will be our model as well, which is a relief for me! The students told me they wanted to work on paper about 11 x 17 in size, which I think will be a manageable size for them to complete the drawing before their semester ends (February 12). I'll be collecting materials and working on a short presentation for the next few days before I return. In addition to the students working on their independent projects, I helped out by giving students feedback on their artist statements, which will be a continuing process for them as they prepare for the senior art show and the AP exam that takes place during the spring. The students taking part in the senior art show are coming up with some wonderful themes for the show and I can't wait to see what they come up with!


Week 2: Blaine Senior High School

Blaine High School _Teachers Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk - 0 Hours
This week, due to health concerns and scheduling conflicts, I was unable to make it into the high school. I plan on going in later during the week to work out our project timeline and talk about materials with Mrs. Undis and the students. 

Week 1: Blaine Senior High School

Placement with Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk - 8 Hours
This past week I began working with Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk, two teachers I took art classes with in high school. On Monday, my first day, I met with three different classes of students. First, I met with the AP art students who are working on their concentrations due later in the Spring. The class is mostly devoted to independent work but Mrs. Undis is there to facilitate and offer guidance. I introduced myself, talked about my practice, and answered their questions about MCAD/college while they continued working on their current projects. Many of the AP students are preparing for college and from talking with some of them, a lot of them plan on pursuing art and design in the future, which is exciting!

During second and third hour, Mrs. Undis teaches both Painting I and Painting 2 classes. They commenced working on an abstract project I also did when I took the course. The students were to use a viewfinder to find a composition within a magazine or a photo they brought and use that to create their own composition with watercolor. Mrs. Undis did a demo to show them different ways of creating texture within a painting and talked about warmth vs. cool dominance in a painting. 

On Wednesday, Day 2 back in high school, I worked with Mrs. Undis's AP students again and asked them about what they wanted to work on since it is more open in terms of course material and content. We talked about doing an extended figure project over the course of 2-3 weeks for a portion of the class, and the students were in agreement. Right now, it's just a matter of working out the details, gathering materials, and finding a model. 

For the remainder of the day, I worked with Mrs. Schenk's Drawing I & II students, which was also mostly observation and getting to know the students and their work. Drawing I students are working on still life value drawings and gradually moving into perspective. Drawing II students are working on color schemes with oil pastels and eyes as the subject.

I was happy to learn about the different artistic interests the students were pursuing. There are even some media and filmmaking enthusiasts in the group! 

For me, I am curious to see how I can continue to engage with the students, especially the underclassmen. With the exception of the AP class, the classes are very large, nearly 40 students in each. I think individualizing my teaching and reaching out to every student is going to be a challenge in the coming weeks. In terms of technology, many things have changed since I graduated in 2012. The classrooms are equipped with microphone systems and students are allowed to have their phones out, which is very different from when I attended the school. 

Overall, the first couple days was both eye opening and exciting for me. I'm eager to return and continue working with all of the students I've met thus far.